Set Profile > Fountain Court Chambers > London, England
Fountain Court Chambers Offices
Fountain Court Chambers
FOUNTAIN COURT, TEMPLE
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Fountain Court Chambers > The Legal 500 Rankings
Aviation Tier 1
Described by clients as a ‘brilliant set’ which is ‘full of stars’, Fountain Court Chambers displays expertise across commercial disputes and regulation cases, as well as aviation claims involving disaster and catastrophic losses and damage. Akhil Shah QC was instructed by the liquidators of Thomas Cook Airlines to assist in securing its slots at leading airports; in 2019, he led an expedited judicial review application brought by Manchester Airport against the CAA and Thomas Cook in which Shah represented the airline’s interests. Elsewhere, John Taylor QC led Ben Lynch in Blanche v Easyjet, a Court of Appeal test case concerning the interpretation of common rules on compensation and assistance to airline passengers in the event of delayed or cancelled flights.
Fountain Court Chambers is 'a go-to set for the banking, financial services and financial crime fields', with 'enormous strength in depth from junior to senior leading counsel'. Clients note that 'the set has a knack for attracting the best of the best – who also happen to be nice people'. Major cases include Law Debenture v Ukraine, in which Bankim Thanki QC and Simon Atrill defended the Ukraine on a $3bn Eurobond loan default claim. Another highlight was Arena Plaza Jersey Limited Partnership and others v N M Rothschild & Sons Limited and others, where Patricia Robertson QC and Natasha Bennett successfully defended NM Rothschild.
Richard Lissack QC - Fountain Court Chambers ‘Close to pre-eminence at the intersection of civil and criminal liability in the banking field, he is also genuinely and consistently superb for his client handling.’
Commercial litigation Tier 1
Fountain Court Chambers is 'rightly among the leading commercial sets' with 'an abundance of talent and depth'. The barristers 'are at the top of their game' and the set is commended for having 'done a huge amount in recent years to promote and recruit women, making them one of the most gender-diverse sets at the commercial bar'. A recent highlight was Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales LLP v (1) Amber Fund Management and (2) Lambert Smith Hampton Group in which Anneliese Day QC and Natasha Bennett are representing Amber Fund Management. Charles Bear QC and Ian Bergson achieved a notable success in the Supreme Court in One Step v Morris-Garner.
Michael McLaren QC - Fountain Court Chambers ‘Has an enormous capacity for complexity, depth of analysis and detail, combined with a rare mix of razor-sharp intellect and commercial judgement. He is also enormously approachable, accommodating and patient.'
Rupert Allen - Fountain Court Chambers ‘He is without doubt one of the best juniors at the commercial Bar - an unassuming and charming personality partially disguises a Rottweiler tendency with a difficult factual or legal point.’
Fountain Court Chambers is 'quite simply one of the best chambers in London with the bench strength and quality to handle the largest and most complex cases'. The set has a 'good range of silks and senior juniors in the financial services field', several of which, including Richard Coleman QC and Andrew Mitchell QC offer strong non-contentious advisory support. On the contentious side, members have been involved in proceedings arising out of Barclays Bank's Qatar capital raising, with Richard Lissack QC and Eleanor Davison among those representing Barclays. Lissack, Tamara Oppenheimer QC, Bankim Thanki QC and Rebecca Loveridge were also on ENRC's team in Director of the Serious Fraud Office v ENRC.
Andrew Mitchell QC - Fountain Court Chambers ‘A very impressive advocate - always thoroughly prepared and able to deliver engaging submissions as well as dealing with challenges from the bench or opposing advocates.’
Fraud: civil Tier 1
Fountain Court Chambers is 'a top chambers and does a great deal of fraud work'. The set is commended for its 'very real strength in depth at all levels' and in recent years it has 'actively built out by lateral hires in the market', particularly in the intersection of civil and criminal fraud. The HP v Autonomy dispute saw Richard Lissack QC representing Autonomy's former chief financial officer, while, on the opposing side, Patrick Goodall QC was among those representing the claimants. Another landmark case was SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, where Bankim Thanki QC and new silk Tamara Oppenheimer QC successfully represented ENRC in the Court of Appeal. Edward Levey QC was another member of chambers to talk silk in early 2020; considered a 'creative thinker', Ian Bergson is a rising star in chambers.
Construction Tier 1
Insurance and reinsurance Tier 2
Insurance and reinsurance disputes concerning the avoidance of cover, coverage, and points of construction issues are a staple part of Fountain Court Chambers' practice. The set is 'superb at all levels, from the leading QCs through to the junior ranks and including the clerks'; and it is 'rightly regarded as one of the leading sets for commercial disputes (including insurance disputes)'. David Railton QC is highly recommended for substantial insurance and re-insurance disputes in both court and arbitration proceedings. The 'exceptionally clever' Natasha Bennett is regularly instructed in major actions, which involve the construction of aggregation clauses in solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance policies. In recent news, Ben Lynch QC took silk in 2020, further strengthening the set at the senior end.
Offshore Tier 2
A set with 'real strength in depth', Fountain Court Chambers' reputation for commercial litigation in London extends to a number of members handling such disputes in the Caribbean. Ben Valentin QC, who represented the Awalco respondents in the AHAB v Saad appeal, continues to act for Sonera BV in the saga concerning the enforcement of a $1bn arbitral award against an indirect holding of shares in Turkcell. Michael Green QC continues to represent the liquidators of CLICO in the ongoing saga concerning the demise of the Trinidadian financial services company. Jacob Turner is a rising star in chambers.
'A very strong set with a range of barristers with high ability', Fountain Court Chambers deploys an 'abundance of talent and depth' in various matters concerning white-collar regulators, with particular involvement in high-profile solicitors and auditors regulation cases. Mark Simpson QC continues to advise the Financial Reporting Council on its investigation into Grant Thornton's 2016 audit of Sports Direct, and Nicholas Medcroft QC is advising the same regulator on its investigations into the demise of contractor Carillion. Several members represented parties acquitted by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in the Gary Senior case: Patricia Robertson QC and 2020 silk appointment Chloe Carpenter QC represented Baker McKenzie, while Richard Coleman QC represented a partner who was involved in the internal investigation. Another 2020 silk appointment, Edward Levey QC represented the regulator in SRA v Siaw, in which the Administrative Court reversed the tribunal's findings, holding that the respondent had acted dishonesty and struck him off.
Professional negligence Tier 2
Fountain Court Chambers is 'a leading professional negligence set', with 'particularly impressive silks' and 'heavyweight juniors'. The 'high-calibre' members are experienced in claims against a broad range of professionals, including barristers and solicitors, financial services professionals, fund managers, and accountants and tax advisers. In recent highlights, Anneliese Day QC, Mark Simpson QC and Natasha Bennett are acting on either side of Axiom Funds v Mayer Brown, a solicitors' negligence case relating to the collapse of a legal financing fund, and Richard Coleman QC is representing three major banks in the high-profile Ingenious litigation brought by investors in a film finance scheme.
Fountain Court Chambers has particular travel-related expertise in acting for bespoke tour operators, as well as other commercial disputes in the travel industry. Akhil Shah QC was engaged in Blanche v easyJet, a second appeal and test case of a passenger claim for compensation under EU Regulation 261; while Rosalind Phelps QC was involved in Volare v Civil Aviation Authority, acting as the external legal adviser to the CAA Panel deciding a contested case about the use of aircraft parts and their impact on the airworthiness of passenger aircraft. New silk Tamara Oppenheimer QC has extensive aviation sector expertise.
At Fountain Court Chambers, Richard Lissack QC is representing the CFO of software company Autonomy in the ongoing case concerning allegations of corporate fraud brought against the company by the SFO and the FRC in the UK, as well as the Department of Justice in the USA, relating to the $8bn sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard. Strengthening the team on the senior end, 2020 saw Robin Barclay QC (described as 'very proactive and hardworking') and Tamara Oppenheimer QC (who 'expresses opinions succinctly and with clarity') be elevated silk.
Fountain Court Chambers is an 'excellent set with some real star silks' and also some 'really excellent and talented juniors who can pick up cases quickly and easily'. Members have strong links to and experience of the market's key arbitration forums, such as the LCIA, where Anneliese Day QC was appointed to the Board in 2019. The set's commitment to the Asian market was demonstrated by its permanent presence in Singapore. Notable cases include Sonera v Cukurova Telecom/Alfa Telecom, where Bankim Thanki QC and Ben Valentin QC represented Sonera. Among the juniors, Alexander Milner is representing Naftogaz in its $100bn dispute with Gazprom.
Product liability Tier 4
The barristers at Fountain Court Chambers are instructed in pharmaceutical and consumer product group actions as well as in claims relating to industrial, marine or aviation products. 'Superb advocate' Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC has great experience in substantial group actions and also appears in commercial arbitrations. Akhil Shah QC is noted for having 'a good commercial knowledge of aviation which sets him apart from his contemporaries' in the product liability field.
Alex Taylor is head and shoulders above all other clerks in London. Nobody has his knowledge of the market. He commands the respect of barristers and instructing solicitors alike and is always one step ahead of the market.
Alfie is a brilliant clerk. Very responsive and gets things done very quickly at any time of day.
Always quick to respond, incredibly helpful and provide frequent updates on requests/queries. Most contact has been with Georgina Gills and Declan Gray both of whom provide fantastic service.
As might be expected with a leading commercial set, the clerks room is always very professional and accessible.
Both senior and junior clerks are responsive and efficient, particularly Luke Diebelius.
Chloe Gibbs is responsive and helpful and well regarded.
Clerks are very helpful. I have mainly dealt with Katie Szewczyk and Georgina Gills. Both of them have been very good to work with, helpful in suggesting suitable counsel and transparent and helpful on fees.
Excellent – the best and most responsive clerking of any sets I use. They work hard to build long term relationships. They are generally pragmatic about fees and will accommodate the client’s needs. Luke Diebelius stands out in particular.
Excellent clerking – Sian, is a real star, Alex Taylor is the top clerk in London.
Excellent service. I deal with Sian Huckett and Katie Szewczyk who are particularly helpful.
Excellently led set with Alex Taylor being the best senior clerk in the City for quite some time now.
Fountain Court has hosted many of the meetings we have held. The clerks and the receptionists have been unfailingly helpful and courteous.
Friendly and knowledgeable. Sian Huckett is commercially-minded and efficient.
Sam Ismail is extremely approachable and helpful. The clerks’ room are consistently accommodating with instructions.
The clerking is excellent. Very professional and practical. It’s rare to come across a set where the quality of the barristers is matched by the quality of the clerks, but this is absolutely the case at Fountain Court.
The clerking team is very professional. Katie Szewczyk is impressively organised and takes an active role on business development.
The clerking team is very responsive and have always been able to make time with an appropriate barrister to suit any given situation.
The clerks are on the whole responsive, flexible and easy to work with. Richard Evans, in particular, has impressed me very much.
The Clerks offer a first rate service. Declan Grey is particularly easy to work with and goes above and beyond what is required.
The clerks team are extremely helpful and friendly. Super responsive and they go over the way to meet solicitors and client’s needs.
The Fountain Court clerks are excellent – Richard Evans in particular goes above and beyond, often at very short notice, to meet clients’ needs.
They have a very good clerking team who really take the time and effort to engage with and get to know their clients and understand their needs. Katie and Sian deserve particular mention for their fresh and engaging approach.
They have been very helpful, providing information as necessary and listing a number of complex hearing in terms of availability and court arrangements with ease and without fuss.
They’re not just efficient, but also lovely people and have gone out of their way to help us with new opportunities (for instance, in relation to entering the Singapore market, where Fountain Court now has a permanent presence).
Fountain Court is home to genuine experts in the professional negligence sphere, who are at home with the complex and wide-ranging legal and factual situations that can arise. It is also characterised by barristers that are friendly and approachable.
A brilliant chambers which has strength in depth and a modern and user-friendly clerking team.
A good, stable commercial practice – and they have done a huge amount in recent years to promote and recruit women, making them one of the most gender diverse at the commercial bar.
A quality set with strength throughout the ranks. I like that they do not take themselves too seriously and adopt a human touch: they are generally very user-friendly as a result.
A set of talented, experienced Counsel with sensitivity and a commercial approach towards the clients that they work with.
A terrific set, at the very top of its game, filled with superstars who also happen to be extremely nice.
A very strong set with a range of barristers with high ability covering most commercial and regulatory areas. A quality commercial set.
An excellent set. I have worked with numerous barristers from Fountain Court over time and have been consistently happy with the quality of their work, as well as the quality of the clerking team.
Fountain Court are our go-to chambers for banking litigation cases. They are in our view the premiere banking litigation set.
Fountain Court are renowned, quite rightly for top notch commercial work . They have real strength and quality at all levels from clerks to QCs.
Fountain Court has a first-rate aviation practice; it has a real depth of very high-quality barristers with extensive aviation experience.
Fountain Court is a go to set for us in the banking, financial services and financial crime fields. It has enormous strength in depth from junior to senior leading counsel, the barristers are all top quality and, for the most part, easy to work with.
Fountain Court is a leading and very well known chamber not only in UK but also abroad. The chambers has exceptional silks and juniors and known for expertise in the banking and commercial matters.
Fountain Court is an excellent chambers with great cases and some very talented members.
Fountain Court is an excellent set for complex commercial work.
Fountain Court is an excellent set, offering intelligent barristers and a user-friendly service. It always seems inclusive and forward looking.
Fountain Court is evidently a leading professional negligence set. Its silks are particularly impressive and it has a number of heavy-weight juniors.
Fountain Court is generally excellent and my a first port of call. They combine intelligence and excellence with a strong commercial approach.
Fountain Court is the leading aviation set, with considerable strength in depth across all aspects of the aviation industry. It has outstanding barristers with considerable aviation expertise at all levels.
Fountain Court Chambers > Set Profile
Fountain Court Chambers is a leading commercial set of chambers with 92 barristers, including 42 silks. Its core work is commercial, with members advising and representing clients in business disputes of all kinds, domestic and international, and at all levels.
The set: Members of Fountain Court Chambers appear in courts and tribunals of all levels, from complex, high-value commercial disputes in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, to county court and tribunal work. Members have experience of sitting as arbitrators, mediators and dealing with other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Members regularly work abroad, not only in international arbitrations but also as advocates in overseas jurisdictions including Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, the British Virgin and Cayman Islands, Northern Ireland and in the European Court of Justice.
The size of chambers, and the range of experience of its members, enables Fountain Court to assemble balanced teams of counsel to suit the requirements of individual cases.
Prominent former members include Lord Bingham and many other current and former Lords Justice of Appeal and High Court judges along with a Lord Justice of the UK Supreme Court. Door tenant Michael Brindle QC is president of the Abu Dhabi Global Market appeals panel, while Michael Crane QC is chairman of the Takeover Panel. Other key roles held by members include Stephen Moriarty QC’s position as Chair of the Commercial Bar Association and Andrew Mitchell QC’s position as Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board.
Chambers is regularly instructed by major and boutique international and domestic law firms, the general counsel of FTSE 100 companies, regulatory bodies and local authorities.
Types of work undertaken: Members are recognised leaders in the fields of Administrative & Public Law; Aviation & Travel; Banking & Finance; Civil Fraud; Commercial Crime; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Financial Services; Insurance & Reinsurance; International Arbitration; Offshore; Professional Discipline; Professional Negligence; and Regulatory & Investigations. They are also notable for the wide range of other civil work undertaken, including Company, Restructuring & Insolvency; Construction & Energy; Competition; Employment; Media, Entertainment & Sport; Product Liability; Technology and Tax. Many Fountain Court members are regularly appointed as arbitrators in complex, high-value international arbitrations, or as mediators.
Aviation & Travel: Fountain Court members have significant expertise in the aviation and travel sectors, including in relation to aviation commercial disputes; claims involving disasters, catastrophic / extensive loss and damage; disputes linked to economic downturns; aviation insurance and reinsurance; aviation and travel regulation; and issues of public law.
Banking & Finance: Fountain Court is at the forefront of banking and financial disputes, including retail and investment banking. It is a core specialism of the set which has a reputation for large-scale, test-case litigation involving some of the world’s most prestigious financial institutions.
Commercial Dispute Resolution: All members at Fountain Court advise on commercial disputes including litigation, arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Specific areas of specialism include complex contractual disputes, fraud and negligence claims plus niche areas such as privilege and conflicts of law.
Commercial Crime: Uniquely within the Bar’s ‘Magic Circle’, Fountain Court is a leader in corporate and individual commercial crime. It specialises in the crossover between criminal, civil and regulatory liabilities and remedies/sanctions that are now such an important feature of business.
Company, Restructuring & Insolvency: Many members have long-standing experience of advising on company law issues, restructuring and insolvency both in the context of commercial litigation and issues of a more specialist nature. Fountain Court members have advised in connection with many of the high-profile collapses of recent years including Flybe, Thomas Cook, Monarch Airlines, Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers, Farepak and British Steel.
Insurance & Reinsurance: This is a core specialist area for Fountain Court, both in litigation and arbitration. Members’ experience includes cases relating to coverage and disputes surrounding liability, across all lines of business. Members are often involved in some of the most cutting edge and precedent setting insurance matters, including the FCA test case regarding business interruption claims arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Arbitration: Members have a wide range of experience acting in arbitrations, in litigation concerning arbitrations, and as arbitrators. The high values involved in the arbitral practices of our leading barristers have seen them act on claims valued in the billions.
Offshore: Members regularly undertake cases both for or against foreign corporations and high-net-worth individuals who have also instructed litigation practices to represent them in defending their onshore and offshore interests.
Professional Discipline: Members regularly act both for and against regulators in relation to claims against, and investigations into, professionals and have been involved in some of the most significant and high-profile matters in recent times, across a variety of professions.
Professional Negligence: Representing professionals in relation to negligence claims is a long-standing area of specialism for members of Fountain Court, with barristers acting on cases involving the legal, accountancy, construction, insurance and other sectors.
Fountain Court is a set with an excellent reputation for its international work. Covering many diverse practice areas including Aviation & Travel; Banking & Finance; Company, Restructuring & Insolvency; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Construction & Energy; Offshore and Technology, the set provides experienced advisors, counsel and arbitrators through all levels of call.
International Appointments: Michael Brindle QC is the President of the recently created Abu Dhabi Global Market appeals panel. Patricia Robertson QC has also been appointed as a member of that panel as well as, since 2019, being a member of the Advisory Panel on legal regulatory matters for the Astana International Financial Centre.
Members are called to the Bar in a wide variety of jurisdictions including Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Russia.
Offshore: Members have predominantly acted offshore for institutional and corporate clients, but also in cases involving representation of ultra-high net worth individuals, for example acting in cases involving significant Russian investors. In recent years, members of chambers have received instructions in relation to substantial offshore cases from some of the largest mainstream US and UK litigation firms, as well as from (or working in conjunction with) many offshore firms.
International Arbitration: Members regularly act in arbitrations with an international dimension. As well as acting in London arbitrations, many members have experience of acting in arbitrations conducted in foreign jurisdictions; similarly, members have experience of acting in arbitrations where the subject matter of the dispute is governed by a foreign law.
Given the growth in the number of international commercial disputes being referred to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the creation of the Singapore International Commercial Court in 2013, the set has had a physical presence in Singapore since September 2014.
Outside of Singapore, individual members have seen multi-jurisdictional cases involving a variety of jurisdictions including India, Switzerland, the UAE, Russia, Turkey and Israel, in disputes involving a wide range of sectors, including property, aviation, construction, shipping, financial services, international supply contracts, telecommunications and insurance. Work in the DIFC Courts and arbitral institutions has seen a particular increase, with members appearing in the DIAC.
International Arbitrators: Many members of Chambers have accepted appointments as arbitrators, and many of them are highly experienced arbitrators with strong reputations in the market.
Notable international cases include:
- Skatteforvaltningen v Solo Capital Partners & Ors: Defending a £1.5 billion claim by the Kingdom of Denmark, acting via its national tax authority, arising from an alleged cum-ex (withholding tax reclaim) tax fraud, said to have taken place between 2012 and 2015.
- Times Travel v Pakistan International Airlines: Acting for Ukraine in the Supreme Court appeal regarding the existence of awful act economic duress and likely involving the redefining of the boundaries of economic duress and unconscionable bargains, and the legal right to avoid contracts induced by illegitimate pressure.
- Public Institute for Social Security of Kuwait v Man Group Plc and Others: Acting for various parties in major international proceedings concerning allegations of large-scale bribery.
- VTB Capital v Republic of Mozambique: Acting in a series of claims for recovery of monies against Mozambiquan borrowers, guaranteed by the Mozambique State, with related claims for damages for conspiracy.
- The Law Debenture Trust Corporation plc v. Ukraine UKSC 2018/0192: Acting for the Ukraine in the $3bn Eurobond claim brought by Law Debenture on behalf of the Russian Federation and heard in the Supreme Court in December 2019. This was the longest Supreme Court hearing of any non-public law case during 2019, which illustrated its importance and the breadth of issues involved.
- Arnage Holdings & Others v Walkers (A Firm): Defending one of the leading legal firms in the Cayman Islands in a long-running $400m negligence suit brought by one of the richest families in Brazil. The case involves multiple international elements arising out of what has been described as Brazil’s “trial of the century” and includes extensive allegations of political corruption against a major Brazilian bank and its former owners. This is one of the largest and most long-running and high-profile negligence actions ever brought in the Cayman Islands.
- Cowan v Equis Special LP & Ors: Very high-value (over $440m) fraud action involving a range of leading silks in the offshore world. The jurisdiction decision is now one of the leading Cayman authorities on permission to serve out and the meaning and effect of material non-disclosure at ex parte The claim involved parallel proceedings in Cayman and Hong Kong.
- Shrimpton v Scriven, Dragon Capital & Ors: High-value unfair prejudice petition between the founders of Vietnam’s leading private equity fund, based in Hong Kong. This was a heavyweight and highly complex shareholder dispute fought between some of the leading offshore QCs, raising numerous novel points of law and involving a truly international background.
- Nanfong International Investments Ltd: Successfully acting (both in Cayman and Samoa) to oppose a winding up petition presented against one company in a conglomerate. Successfully appealed to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal who made an order staying the Cayman winding up petition so that proceedings in Samoa could be concluded. Subsequent five day trial in Samoa. This was one of the first such cases to be heard by the Samoan Supreme Court and it has helped to develop the jurisprudence and capability of Samoa to establish it as an offshore financial centre.
- Gao v China Biologic Products Holdings: Successfully acting for the defendant in high profile proceedings in the Cayman Islands Grand Court. The defendant is a company listed on NASDAQ and is involved in the research, development and manufacture of human plasma-based biopharmaceutical products in China. The plaintiff is the former CEO and he sued the company on the basis that a very recent share issue was conducted for improper purposes so as to thwart his consortium’s takeover offer. This was highly significant company law case, not just for the Cayman Islands but for England too.
- Turks & Caicos Financial Services Commission v Caicos General Insurance Company Ltd: Acting for the Turks & Caicos Financial Services Commission in relation to a dispute concerning licence conditions imposed on insurance companies conducting insurance business in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
- Ieremeieva v Estera, Lagur and Ivakhiv: Acting for two Ukrainian oligarchs (Mr Lagur and Mr Ivakhiv) in a dispute in the BVI concerning the operation of a trust and the ownership of various Ukrainian businesses, the value of which is said to exceed $800m. The allegations include ones of forgery, sham and dishonest assistance in breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
- Barthelemy Holdings v Duet Group Limited: Claim by BH for breach of warranties under an Investment Agreement concerning the purchase and building of a hotel in St Barts, in the Caribbean. The trial lasted five – six weeks and judgment was given by Waksman J, upholding parts of the claim.
- AHAB v Saad & Ors: This is the largest fraud case ever to be tried in Cayman Islands, and the six-week appeal was heard by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal in May-June 2019; judgment was reserved.
- Goodman v DRS Governance: A $120m claim in the Cayman Islands relating to the collapse of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund.
- Sonera v Cukorova: Acting in this litigation which involves the enforcement of a US$1bn ICC award. The case has generated a considerable number of rulings in the British Virgin Islands, including several appeals to both the BVI Court of Appeal and Privy Council in London; the case is a good example of the substantial arbitration-related disputes in which Members are regularly involved.
- The CLICO Inquiry: Instructed in the inquiry in Trinidad and Tobago, concerning the circumstances in which major banking and insurance companies based in Trinidad and Tobago sustained losses totaling billions of dollars.
|Senior clerk||Alex Taylor|
|Head of Administration||Julie Parker|
|Member of Chambers||LISSACK QC, Richard (1978) (QC 1994)|
|Member of Chambers||RAILTON QC, David (1979) (QC 1996)|
|Member of Chambers||DUTTON CBE QC, Timothy (1979) (QC 1998)|
|Member of Chambers||MORIARTY QC, Stephen (1986) (QC 1999)|
|Member of Chambers||RUBIN QC, Stephen (1977) (QC 2000)|
|Member of Chambers||McLAREN QC, The Hon Michael (1981) (QC 2002)|
|Member of Chambers||BROOK SMITH QC, Philip (1982) (QC 2002)|
|Member of Chambers||COX QC, Raymond (1982) (QC 2002)|
|Member of Chambers||THANKI QC, Bankim (1988) (QC 2003)|
|Member of Chambers||BÉAR QC, Charles (1986) (QC 2003)|
|Member of Chambers||ROBERTSON QC, Patricia (1988) (QC 2006)|
|Member of Chambers||HOWE QC, Timothy (1987) (QC 2008)|
|Member of Chambers||SIMPSON QC, Mark (1992) (QC 2008)|
|Member of Chambers||HANDYSIDE QC, Richard (1993) (QC 2009)|
|Member of Chambers||MULCAHY QC, Leigh-Ann (1993) (QC 2009)|
|Member of Chambers||CHAPMAN QC, Jeffrey (1989) (QC 2010)|
|Member of Chambers||DALE QC, Derrick (1990) (QC 2010)|
|Member of Chambers||SHAH QC, Akhil (1990) (QC 2010)|
|Member of Chambers||MITCHELL QC, Andrew (1992) (QC 2011)|
|Member of Chambers||GOTT QC, Paul (1991) (QC 2012)|
|Member of Chambers||COLEMAN QC, Richard (1994) (QC 2012)|
|Member of Chambers||RITCHIE QC, Stuart (1995) (QC 2012)|
|Member of Chambers||DAY QC, Anneliese (1996) (QC 2012)|
|Member of Chambers||TAYLOR QC, John (1993) (QC 2013)|
|Member of Chambers||TOLLEY QC, Adam (1994) (QC 2014)|
|Member of Chambers||GOODALL QC, Patrick (1998) (QC 2014)|
|Member of Chambers||GEARING QC, Matthew (QC 2014)|
|Member of Chambers||VALENTIN QC, Ben (1995) (QC 2016)|
|Member of Chambers||PHELPS QC, Rosalind (1998) (QC 2016)|
|Member of Chambers||KING QC, Henry (1998) (QC 2017)|
|Member of Chambers||ZELLICK QC, Adam (2000) (QC 2017)|
|Member of Chambers||LUCAS QC, Bridget (1989) (QC 2018)|
|Member of Chambers||SINCLAIR QC, Paul (1997) (QC 2018)|
|Member of Chambers||CUTRESS QC, James (2000) (QC 2018)|
|Member of Chambers||MEDCROFT QC, Nicholas (1998) (QC 2019)|
|Member of Chambers||WHEELER QC, Giles (1998) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||LEVEY QC, Edward (1999) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||BARCLAY QC, Robin (1999) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||LYNCH QC, Ben (2001) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||CARPENTER QC, Chloe (2001) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||OPPENHEIMER QC, Tamara (2002) (QC 2020)|
|Member of Chambers||JOHN QC, Laura (2001) (QC 2021)|
|Member of Chambers||MERRETT, Louise (1995)|
|Member of Chambers||NAMBISAN, Deepak (1998)|
|Member of Chambers||YEO, Nik (2000)|
|Member of Chambers||CASEY, Paul (2002)|
|Member of Chambers||PULLEN, Andrew (2016)|
|Member of Chambers||DAVISON, Eleanor (2003)|
|Member of Chambers||BUTLER, Marianne (2003)|
|Member of Chambers||MURRAY, David (2004)|
|Member of Chambers||ATRILL, Simon (2005)|
|Member of Chambers||DUFFY, James (2005)|
|Member of Chambers||ALLEN, Rupert (2005)|
|Member of Chambers||BARDEN, Alex (2005)|
|Member of Chambers||MILNER, Alexander (2006)|
|Member of Chambers||SHER, Adam (2007)|
|Member of Chambers||POWER, Richard (2007)|
|Member of Chambers||ULYATT, Craig (2008)|
|Member of Chambers||LÖÖF, Robin (2009)|
|Member of Chambers||BENNETT, Natasha (2009)|
|Member of Chambers||LESLIE, Nico (2010)|
|Member of Chambers||EDMONDS, Daniel (2010)|
|Member of Chambers||HOROWITZ, Dr Deborah (2010)|
|Member of Chambers||NESTERCHUK, Tetyana (2011)|
|Member of Chambers||LOVERIDGE, Rebecca (2011)|
|Member of Chambers||LANGLEY, Christopher (2011)|
|Member of Chambers||KNOWLES, Christopher (2011)|
|Member of Chambers||AHLQUIST, Philip (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||CLEARY, Niamh (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||ROBERTSON, Giles (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||RITCHIE, Samuel (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||SAGAN, Leonora (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||HART, James (2012)|
|Member of Chambers||FARMER, Joseph (2013)|
|Member of Chambers||PAUL, Simon (2013)|
|Member of Chambers||BROCK, Laurie (2013)|
|Member of Chambers||DALY, Nick (2014)|
|Member of Chambers||EVANS, Max (2015)|
|Member of Chambers||KASRIEL, Max (2015)|
|Member of Chambers||BERGSON, Ian (2015)|
|Member of Chambers||CARALL-GREEN, Daniel (2015)|
|Member of Chambers||RABINOWITZ, Samuel (2016)|
|Member of Chambers||WHELAN, Alexandra (2016)|
|Member of Chambers||DAMNJANOVIC, Nicolas (2016)|
|Member of Chambers||TURNER, Jacob (2016)|
|Member of Chambers||TAYLOR, Aaron (2017)|
|Member of Chambers||de BRUYN, Laurentia (2018)|
|Member of Chambers||HUGHES, Gillian (2018)|
|Member of Chambers||FIELD, Marcus (2019)|
|Member of Chambers||KOH, Nathalie (2019)|
|Member of Chambers||SHERMAN, Orestis (2019|
|Door Tenant||WILSON, Lord Nicholas (1967)|
|Door Tenant||POTTER QC, Sir Mark (1963)|
|Door Tenant||LANGLEY QC, Sir Gordon (1966)|
|Door Tenant||JACOBS QC, Sir Francis (1964)|
|Door Tenant||BOSWOOD QC, Anthony (1970) (QC 1986)|
|Door Tenant||SMITH, Sir Andrew|
|Door Tenant||BRINDLE QC, Michael (1975) (QC 1992)|
|Door Tenant||CRANE QC, Michael (1975) (QC 1994)|
|Door Tenant||DDOCTOR QC, Brian (1991) (QC 1999)|
|Door Tenant||HAMILTON, Philippa (1984)|
|Door Tennant||WATT, Katherine (2002)|
|Door Tenant||SAID, Sebastian (2014)|
|Door Tenant||WATTS QC, Professor Peter (New Zealand)|
|Door Tenant||BOO, Professor Lawrence|
|Door Tenant||SCHWARTZ, Eric A|
|Door Tenant||WINGFIELD, David R (2013)|
|Door Tenant||RADICATI DI BROZOLO, Professor Luca G (2014)|
|Door Tenant||HUGHES, Professor Benjamin|
|Door Tenant||DHARMANANDA SC, Kanga|
|Door Tenant||PACHNANDA SA, Gaurav|
|Door Tenant||ARTERO, Christine|
|Door Tenant||BENJAMIN SC, Ian|
|Door Tenant||CHAN, Professor Darius|
|Door Tenant||ANDHYARUJINA SA, Zal|
|Philip Ahlquist||Philip Ahlquist specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, with particular expertise in…||View Profile|
|Rupert Allen||Rupert is regularly instructed in heavy and high-profile commercial and banking cases,…||View Profile|
|Simon Atrill||Civil and commercial litigation including banking, financial services, insurance/reinsurance, civil fraud, pharmaceuticals…||View Profile|
|Robin Barclay||Robin practises in commercial, regulatory and criminal law with a particular focus…||View Profile|
|Alex Barden||Alex is widely recognised as a leading junior in commercial matters, especially…||View Profile|
|Charles Bear||Wide-ranging practice covering: general commercial litigation, judicial review, and public procurement. Commercial…||View Profile|
|Natasha Bennett||Natasha Bennett specialises in general commercial litigation, including banking and financial services,…||View Profile|
|Ian Bergson||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, civil fraud, banking and financial…||View Profile|
|Anthony Boswood||Anthony Boswood QC practised at the Commercial Bar in London as a…||View Profile|
|Michael Brindle||Michael sits as an arbitrator in major arbitration disputes. His truly international…||View Profile|
|Laurie Brock||Laurie has a broad commercial chancery practice, with a focus on banking…||View Profile|
|Philip Brook Smith||Wide-ranging practice covers a broad spread of commercial and common law work…||View Profile|
|Damien Bruneau||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation, including banking, financial services, civil fraud, aviation,…||View Profile|
|Marianne Butler||Marianne is an experienced commercial barrister, who has a core specialism in…||View Profile|
|Daniel Carall-Green||Administrative & public law, arbitration, aviation, banking & finance, commercial dispute resolution,…||View Profile|
|Chloe Carpenter||Specialises in commercial litigation, financial services, administrative and public law and professional…||View Profile|
|Paul Casey||Barrister specialising in commercial and civil law.||View Profile|
|Jeffrey Chapman||Commercial litigation including civil fraud, banking, international arbitration, insurance and reinsurance and…||View Profile|
|Niamh Cleary||Niamh has a broad commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on banking…||View Profile|
|Richard Coleman||Richard Coleman QC’s practice spans commercial dispute resolution, banking, financial services, administrative…||View Profile|
|Raymond Cox||Barrister specialising in general commercial law, banking and finance, civil fraud, regulation,…||View Profile|
|Michael Crane||Michael Crane QC has over fifteen years’ experience as an international arbitrator.…||View Profile|
|James Cutress||Specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, with particular expertise in banking and…||View Profile|
|Derrick Dale||Barrister of 27 years call (silk for 7 years) with broad based…||View Profile|
|Nick Daly||Nick specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration and is regularly instructed in…||View Profile|
|Nicolas Damnjanovic||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation, including aviation, banking, civil fraud, public law…||View Profile|
|Eleanor Davison||Eleanor Davison is a leading junior in regulatory law, financial services and…||View Profile|
|Anneliese Day||Extensive experience as both Lead Counsel and Arbitrator of commercial, energy and…||View Profile|
|Brian Doctor||Referred to as “one of the leading commercial silks at the Bar”…||View Profile|
|James Duffy||Commercial litigation and arbitration practice, including: banking and finance; aviation; civil fraud;…||View Profile|
|Timothy Dutton CBE||A leading silk at the London Bar, specialising in commercial litigation, public,…||View Profile|
|Daniel Edmonds||Daniel practises in all aspects of English private commercial law, with particular…||View Profile|
|Max Evans||Barrister dealing with commercial litigation, banking and financial services, aviation, regulatory and…||View Profile|
|Joseph Farmer||Joseph has a diverse and thriving practice. His commercial work includes cases…||View Profile|
|Marcus Field||Broad commercial practice with experience (as solicitor advocate and pupil) of banking…||View Profile|
|Patrick Goodall||Barrister specialising in general commercial litigation, including banking and financial services, insurance/reinsurance,…||View Profile|
|Paul Gott||Employment law, professional regulation and commercial law. Industrial relations law – especially…||View Profile|
|Richard Handyside||A wide range of commercial and other civil litigation, including banking and…||View Profile|
|James Hart||Barrister dealing with commercial litigation; banking and financial services; insurance and reinsurance;…||View Profile|
|Dr Deborah Horowitz||Deborah Horowitz specialises in commercial litigation, banking and finance cases, regulatory investigations,…||View Profile|
|Timothy Howe||Specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration (domestic and international) with particular expertise…||View Profile|
|Gillian Hughes||Commercial dispute resolution, banking & finance, civil fraud, insurance and reinsurance, international…||View Profile|
|Laura John||Barrister with a general commercial practice, including banking and financial services, commercial…||View Profile|
|Max Kasriel||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, banking and financial services, professional…||View Profile|
|Henry King||General commercial litigation and arbitration practice, with a particular emphasis on banking…||View Profile|
|Christopher Knowles||Christopher is a barrister specialising in insurance and reinsurance, commercial litigation, professional…||View Profile|
|Nathalie Koh||Barrister specialising in commercial and public law||View Profile|
|Christopher Langley||Pursues a broad commercial and civil practice (including aviation, banking and financial…||View Profile|
|Nico Leslie||Banking and finance; Commercial litigation; Fraud – civil; professional negligence; offshore; arbitration.…||View Profile|
|Edward Levey||Barrister specialising in commercial and civil litigation and arbitration, including banking, civil…||View Profile|
|Richard Lissack||Richard is a recognised and renowned leading QC practising in the UK,…||View Profile|
|Rebecca Loveridge||Rebecca Loveridge specialises in commercial litigation and financial services regulation. Her practice…||View Profile|
|Bridget Lucas||Bridget has a broad practice spanning commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration.…||View Profile|
|Ben Lynch||Commercial Dispute Resolution, Insurance, Professional Negligence and Telecommunications. Recent cases: FCA Business…||View Profile|
|The Hon Michael McLaren||Michael McLaren QC is a widely experienced silk with expertise in all…||View Profile|
|Nicholas Medcroft||Nicholas Medcroft QC’s practice spans commercial dispute resolution, banking, fraud, corporate crime,…||View Profile|
|Louise Merrett||Reader in International Commercial law and barrister specialising in international commercial litigation…||View Profile|
|Alexander Milner||Barrister practising commercial litigation and international arbitration, with wide experience of civil…||View Profile|
|Andrew Mitchell||Specific expertise in banking; civil fraud; commercial contract; (re)insurance and professional negligence,…||View Profile|
|Stephen Moriarty||Stephen Moriarty has a very broad commercial litigation and advisory practice, with…||View Profile|
|Leigh-Ann Mulcahy||QC, commercial arbitrator and mediator specialising in; Insurance and reinsurance, including employer’s…||View Profile|
|David Murray||Commercial litigation including banking, financial services, aviation, insurance/reinsurance, sale of goods, conflict…||View Profile|
|Deepak Nambisan||Barrister with a substantial commercial practice, including all areas of commercial litigation,…||View Profile|
|Tetyana Nesterchuk||Barrister specialising in international commercial litigation and arbitration (with particular emphasis on…||View Profile|
|Tamara Oppenheimer||Barrister practising in civil and commercial law, including banking, professional negligence, aviation,…||View Profile|
|Simon Paul||Barrister specialising in general commercial litigation and arbitration, including aviation, banking and…||View Profile|
|Rosalind Phelps||Commercial silk specialising in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration including aviation,…||View Profile|
|Richard Power||Barrister dealing with commercial and civil law.||View Profile|
|Andrew Pullen||Barrister specialising in international arbitration, based in Singapore. Andrew Pullen’s practice is…||View Profile|
|Samuel Rabinowitz||Barrister practising in commercial law, including in banking & finance, financial services,…||View Profile|
|David Railton||David has a broad based commercial practice, having acted for and advised…||View Profile|
|Stuart Ritchie||Barrister (Queen’s Counsel) specialising in commercial litigation, civil fraud, employment (directors and…||View Profile|
|Samuel Ritchie||Barrister specialising in general commercial litigation, including banking and financial services, civil…||View Profile|
|Patricia Robertson||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation and related regulatory work: especially, banking/financial services;…||View Profile|
|Giles Robertson||Barrister dealing with commercial litigation, aviation, civil fraud, banking and finance, international…||View Profile|
|Stephen Rubin||Barrister specialising in heavy commercial litigation in this jurisdiction and overseas. Lead…||View Profile|
|Leonora Sagan||Commercial litigation; fraud-civil; business and regulatory crime; financial services regulation; arbitration. Specialises…||View Profile|
|Akhil Shah||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation with an emphasis in aviation, trade finance,…||View Profile|
|Adam Sher||Civil and commercial litigation including banking, financial services, insurance, civil fraud and…||View Profile|
|Orestis Sherman||Broad commercial practice, with experience (as a pupil) in aviation, banking and…||View Profile|
|Mark Simpson||Barrister specialising in professional negligence, insurance and general commercial litigation. Notable recent…||View Profile|
|Paul Sinclair||Paul specialises in complex Commercial and Chancery disputes in particular in cases…||View Profile|
|Sir Andrew Smith||Sir Andrew Smith was appointed as an arbitrator while as a barrister…||View Profile|
|John Taylor||John Taylor QC has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice, including…||View Profile|
|Aaron Taylor||Broad commercial practice, including Banking & Finance, Commercial Disputes, Aviation, Professional Negligence,…||View Profile|
|Bankim Thanki||Bankim Thanki QC is generally recognised as one of the pre-eminent Leading…||View Profile|
|Adam Tolley||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation, banking, employment, insurance, professional negligence and personal…||View Profile|
|Jacob Turner||Barrister specialising in general commercial litigation and arbitration, including banking and finance,…||View Profile|
|Craig Ulyatt||Craig Ulyatt specialises in general commercial litigation including all aspects of banking…||View Profile|
|Ben Valentin||Ben is a commercial disputes specialist, with acknowledged expertise in disputes involving…||View Profile|
|Katherine Watt||Barrister specialising in commercial and civil law, particularly banking/finance, professional negligence, professional…||View Profile|
|Giles Wheeler||Barrister with a broad commercial practice with a particular emphasis on banking,…||View Profile|
|Alexandra Whelan||Alexandra specialises in commercial litigation. Her recent cases include aviation, banking, competition,…||View Profile|
|Nik Yeo||Commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on cross-border disputes and matters…||View Profile|
|Adam Zellick||Established Leader for significant cases with a strong, broad-based, commercial practice and…||View Profile|
|Laurentia de Bruyn||Laurentia has a broad commercial and civil practice in line with Chambers’…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresQueen's Counsel : 42 Junior Barristers : 50 Door Tenants : 23
LanguagesFrench German Russian Italian Swedish Afrikaans Hebrew Spanish Greek Croatian Serbian Ukranian Turkish Mandarin
OtherSingapore Office: : 10 Collyer Quay, Ocean Financial Centre #40-38, Singapore 049315
CLIENT: UK Law firm
COMPANY/FIRM: A brand-focused boutique litigation firm working across intellectual property and sports matters
TESTIMONIAL: Fountain Court’s clerks are great. They offer our litigation team as much support as is possible. For example, we have regular relationship meetings to ensure that we are happy with every aspect of their service, they offer secondees and their events and seminars are topical and helpful. We also find that their advice on costs invaluable. Fountain Court is one of our Chambers of choice.
CLIENT: International Law firm
TESTIMONIAL: I have instructed members of Fountain Court since 1979. It is not for sentimental reasons that I have kept going back to them, year in and year out. They simply do not let their standards slip.
CLIENT: International law firm
TESTIMONIAL: From my experience of instructing members this year, I can say the following. They “get it” that modern commercial litigation is a team game, with clients, solicitors, experts and barristers all playing their part. They are good team players, easy to deal with, no airs and graces. They understand the time pressures that are generated by heavy commercial cases. They turn things around quickly. Their paperwork is exceptionally good – the typical Fountain Court product is a model of concision and precision, but always accessible – easily readable even for the non-cognoscenti. And their advocacy is outstanding.
CLIENT: International Law firm
TESTIMONIAL: The clerking has always been of the highest calibre. Alex and Paul are a pleasure to deal with. You can talk business with them. They understand the cost pressures on clients and solicitors – and they also go out of their way to deal with unexpected demands thrown up (inevitably) by big cases. The junior clerks win plaudits too from my team.
CLIENT: Offshore Law firm
TESTIMONIAL: I have always found Fountain Court to be very strong on the commercials and on the people skills so they are my ‘go to’ set for cases with difficult people dynamics. Their fees are in keeping with what one would expect and, more to the point, worth every penny.
CLIENT: Global Law firm
TESTIMONIAL: I have had a relationship with Fountain Court that stretches back over 30 years. Our area of practise is mainly but not exclusively Banking Litigation and contentious Regulatory. Their expertise on the Banking litigation side is unrivalled at the bar.
We have a longstanding and proud commitment to pro bono work.
Former member of Fountain Court Lord Goldsmith QC established the Bar Pro Bono Unit (now, Advocate), which enables access to justice through providing barristers’ services on a pro bono basis.
We continue to support Advocate’s work in various financial and non-financial means. Fountain Court is a Gold Patron of Advocate and many of our barristers also provide financial support to the charity on an individual basis. Fountain Court is also an enthusiastic participant in the London Legal Walk, a fundraising event arranged by Advocate on behalf of free legal advice agencies in London.
Our barristers also provide legal advice and assistance on a pro bono basis through Advocate. More senior members support its work as case reviewers, and Philip Brook Smith QC is a trustee of Advocate and a member of its management committee.
Other pro bono work
First year tenants provide free legal advice in the Bethnal Green Advice Centre on a weekly basis, as part of Fountain Court’s ongoing commitment to the centre.
Chambers also participates in Pro Bono Connect, a scheme that maintains a network of chambers and firms of solicitors willing to work together on pro bono cases. Through this scheme, Fountain Court barristers have been instructed by law firms on a pro bono basis to provide a joined-up approach to the provision of pro bono legal services.
Our barristers also participate in a number of the pro bono schemes operated within the RCJ, including:
- The Queen’s Bench Division Interim Applications Court Pro Bono Advocacy Scheme.
- The Chancery Litigants in Person Scheme.
The Commercial Court and London Circuit Commercial Court Pro Bono Scheme.
Countries of expertise include:
|Australia||Egypt||Liechtenstein||St Kitts & Nevis|
|British Virgin Islands||Guernsey||Mauritius||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Canada||Hong Kong||New Zealand||Turks & Caicos|
|Chile||Isle of Man||Norway||Ukraine|
Equality and Diversity
Fountain Court is committed to Equality and Diversity in all aspects of our business.
We strive to recruit and retain talented individuals from all walks of life and frequently review our policies in order to adopt best practice and to reduce the risk of unconscious bias. We regard it as essential to our standing as a leading commercial set of chambers that we should seek to excel in this regard, as in the rest of our business.
We believe in and promote equal and fair treatment for all. We recognise that the obligation not to discriminate against clients, members, pupils or staff on grounds of gender, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, age, disability, marriage and civil partnership or religion or belief is a fundamental obligation and not simply because it is imposed on us by legislation and the Bar Code of Conduct. We seek to go further and to identify and seek to address structural issues which might lead to individuals from any of these groups being underrepresented within Fountain Court Chambers or at the commercial Bar as a whole.
Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups: A scheme run by Commercial Barristers’ Chambers
We are proud to have joined with five other commercial sets to create a mentoring scheme to support and encourage individuals from all underrepresented groups to pursue a career as a barrister.
Bridging the Bar: Mini-Pupillage Programme
We are also seeking to enhance diversity at the commercial bar by supporting and participating in Bridging the Bar, an initiative through which candidates from underrepresented groups are able to apply for mini-pupillages in chambers.
Combar Scholarship Scheme
Chambers also participates in the Combar Scholarship scheme which seeks to promote social mobility and encourage a wider range of candidates to consider a career at the commercial bar.
Fountain Court also regularly partners with universities in equality and diversity initiatives aimed at students: for example sponsoring and participating in the 2020 ‘Diversity at the Bar’ panel discussion held by Bristol University Bar Society and sponsoring events with King’s Women in Law (of King’s College, London).
Equal Opportunities in Recruitment
We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity in all aspects of our recruitment.
We use published and objective selection criteria in recruiting staff, pupils and tenants and we ensure that all those involved in recruitment have recent equality and diversity training.
We assess applications for mini-pupillage, pupillage and tenancy on merit, but particularly encourage applications from individuals within groups currently underrepresented at the commercial Bar. We actively seek to identify and eliminate unconscious bias through the use of specialist training and techniques such as blind reviews of application forms and assessed work.
Equal Opportunities in Work Allocation
We take seriously our obligation to ensure fairness in allocation of work opportunities as between practising barristers and we are continually seeking to improve and enhance our monitoring and analysis of work opportunities for barristers in chambers.
We are committed to increasing the representation of women at Fountain Court and at the commercial Bar generally. To this end, we are working with the other leading commercial sets on a recruitment initiative aimed at encouraging women to apply for pupillage at the commercial Bar. The initiative has already seen two successful events at universities with speaker panels including female members of Fountain Court. Further events are planned in the near future.
In January 2020, Fountain Court sponsored a reception held at Middle Temple to celebrate the centenary of women being able to enter the legal profession for the first time. We are also actively partnering with university societies to help promote the commercial Bar as a potential career option for women, including sponsoring and participating in the ‘Diversity at the Bar’ panel discussion to be held by Bristol University Bar Society and sponsoring events with King’s Women in Law (of King’s College, London).
We also recognise the importance of retaining female members and have sought to implement policies to ensure that Fountain Court supports female members as they progress through their careers. We are proud that two of our silk appointments for 2020 were women, and our single QC appointment in 2021 was also female. We are also delighted that our successes in this respect were recognised in The Legal 500 2021, where Fountain Court was described as being “commended for having ‘done a huge amount in recent years to promote and recruit women, making them one of the most gender-diverse sets at the commercial bar’.”
Fountain Court welcomes LGBTQ+ applicants and is proud to have a number of LGBT+ members.
Fountain Court is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity and treatment for all applicants, regardless of race or ethnicity. We are proud to be a racially diverse set of chambers at all levels of seniority.
However we also recognise that Chambers and the commercial Bar more generally would benefit from greater diversity. To this end Fountain Court Chambers is participating in a number of initiatives specifically designed to help widen the pool of potential applicants and to encourage those from more diverse backgrounds to consider the commercial bar as a career. As set out above, this includes participating in the mini-pupillage programme developed by Bridging the Bar, and the commercial sets’ mentoring scheme, both of which provide specific mentoring and mini-pupillage opportunities to underrepresented groups.
Disability and Accessibility
At Fountain Court, we are committed to ensuring that talented applicants, and our members and staff, are able to succeed and we believe that disability should not be a barrier to that success.
We have taken steps to ensure that where possible our facilities are accessible and that our working practices accommodate disabled members. Our members include a number of individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair users who can work from chambers as a result of the adaptations and improvements we have been able to make to our grade II listed historic buildings.
Any specific requests for reasonable adjustments to assist disabled applicants, members, employees or clients which we may not reasonably be able to foresee, should be made to our Head of Administration, Julie Parker.
We are conscious of long-held perceptions of the commercial Bar as being only for those from affluent or privileged backgrounds. We are striving to change those perceptions and to address any structural issues which may be discouraging individuals from less privileged backgrounds from considering the Bar as a career. We encourage talented individuals from any walk of life to apply for a mini-pupillage in order to experience first-hand what life at Fountain Court is like. The backgrounds of our members shows that there is no single route to the Bar, and a significant proportion of them were educated at state schools. We support and participate in a number of initiatives which seek to address social mobility issues, including:
- A targeted mentoring scheme with other leading commercial sets.
- Bridging the Bar.
- The Combar scholarship.
- The Pathways to Law scheme run by Oxford University, through which students who take part in that scheme are able to spend time with members of Fountain Court.
- Work experience programmes with a number of inner London schools, where participating students gain experience of clerking and, from time to time, shadow members of chambers at court.
In addition, individual members of chambers frequently deliver talks to state schools in less affluent areas, with a view to promoting a career at the Bar.
Giving back to the community
Fountain Court Chambers recognises a wider social responsibly, which it takes very seriously. Members and staff participate in a number of initiatives that reinforce chambers’ commitment to act in a socially responsible manner.
Access to the Bar
We participate in a number of initiatives that promote the furtherance of equality and diversity in the legal profession and which are designed to encourage diverse access to the Bar.
Pathways to Law
We have close links to the Pathways to Law scheme, which supports academically able students from non-privileged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in law. The project offers placements to students to enable them to gain an insight into the life of chambers and the work of its barristers. It is part of a nationwide scheme developed by The Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation.
Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups: A Scheme Run by Commercial Barristers’ Chambers
Fountain Court is also a founding member of the mentoring scheme established by the Commercial Bar to support and encourage individuals from groups which are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales (and in particular the commercial bar) to pursue careers as barristers. The scheme is called Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups: a scheme run by Commercial Barristers’ Chambers and is open to undergraduates and graduates from groups that are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales including women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities, LGBT+ people, people who have spent time in care and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Bridging the Bar: Mini-Pupillage Programme
We are also seeking to enhance diversity at the commercial bar by supporting and participating in Bridging the Bar, an initiative through which candidates from underrepresented groups are able to apply for mini-pupillages in chambers.
We also offer work experience placements to students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in partnership with a school in Deptford, an initiative established with the support of the Stephen Lawrence Trust.
Top Tier Set Rankings
- London Bar Proceeds of crime (POCA) and asset forfeiture
- London Bar Administrative and public law (including elections)
- London Bar Aviation
- London Bar Banking and finance (including consumer credit)
- London Bar Commercial litigation
- London Bar Financial services regulation
- London Bar Fraud: civil
- London Bar Construction
- London Bar Health and safety
- London Bar IT and telecoms
- London Bar Insurance and reinsurance
- London Bar International arbitration: arbitrators
- London Bar Insolvency
- London Bar Offshore
- London Bar Professional disciplinary and regulatory law
- London Bar Professional negligence
- London Bar Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)
- London Bar Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)
- London Bar Company and partnership
- London Bar International arbitration: counsel
- London Bar Energy
- London Bar Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)
- London Bar Employment
- London Bar Product liability
- London Bar Set overviews: England and Wales
- Regional Bar Set overviews: England and Wales